Telecommunications giant Orange and Google Cloud announced a strategic partnership this week to accelerate the transformation of Orange's IT infrastructure and the development of future cloud services.
The partnership reinforces Orange's Engage 2025 plan, which aims to drive its internal transformation through the innovative and widespread use of artificial intelligence (AI) and data in order to improve operational efficiency and the customer experience. The collaboration will also pave the way for the development of new advanced cloud, edge computing and cybersecurity services.
As part of the agreement, Google will provide its know-how in cutting-edge cloud technologies, analytics and AI tools, as well as its digital transformation methodology and dedicated resources. Orange will contribute its deep expertise in information and communication technology services and its multi-national network infrastructure.
"Orange is a pioneer of digital transformation and is pleased to partner with Google to accelerate its data and AI transformation and continue towards a better service for its customers,” said Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange. “Google has been a long term partner of Orange and, as Google is eager to invest in Europe - and especially in France - to develop new datacenters, this is the perfect time to work on new services and opportunities in French and European markets."
The agreement signals a firm commitment by Orange to use AI and data to increase the pace of transformation across its European footprint by building a next-generation data analytics and machine-learning platform with Google technologies.
The partnership will also work on the development of future edge computing services as 5G networks are rolled out across Europe and cloud computing increasingly benefits from integration into the network. Edge computing is set to become key in the race to meet new consumer and enterprise requirements for low-latency and high-speed services.
Orange and Google Cloud also agreed to jointly create an Innovation Lab and a Center of Excellence.
As such, the Innovation Lab will enable new industry solution development based on data and AI within the broader framework of the evolving 5G / edge computing ecosystem. The Center of Excellence will provide Google Cloud support for Orange France and other Orange affiliates as they engage in their cloud transformation. The center will provide training in data, AI and cloud services for several thousand Orange employees.
"The strength of Orange's network, combined with Google Cloud's platform, will help pave the way for new advanced cloud and edge computing services for the telecommunications industry in Europe,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. “We look forward to working together with Orange to bring new services and applications to customers and businesses alike, while also continuing to grow our support for European enterprises in their digital transformation journeys."